Seven Things You Should Never Buy at the Grocery Store

grocery store savingsThere are certain items in the grocery store that will tend to cost you to spend more money than you should. Cut these ten thing out of your grocery store shopping on a regular basis in order to get the most for your money.

1. Cut up fruit and vegetables. You’ll pay much more for fruit and vegetables that have been pre-cut. While these items can certainly be convenient, it usually isn’t worth the premium price plus the shorter shelf life. If you really want your produce already processed, see if there is a version in the frozen food aisle. You won’t pay more, and the food will keep much longer.

2. Organic onions. It might not make sense to pay for organic onions or any of the other “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables that have the lowest, if any, pesticides. You’ll pay premium prices for the organic versions without getting the most benefit. Other produce on the clean 15 list include: sweet corn, pineapple, avocados, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, mangos, eggplant, kiwi, domestic cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, watermelon and mushrooms.

3. Bagged salad. Why pay twice as much for lettuce that has been washed and torn for you? A head or bunch of lettuce is inexpensive, and it really doesn’t require a lot of work to prepare. Skipped the bagged salad, which usually isn’t a comparable bargain even when it is on sale, and put the salad together yourself.

4. Cookware and other household items. Because grocery stores don’t sell a lot of cookware or other household items, they can’t negotiate a good wholesale price, which means that you can usually find lower prices elsewhere at specialty stores or big box stores, such as Target or Walmart. The one exception might be items that were reduced drastically and put on clearance because, well, they didn’t sell in the first place.

5. Cosmetics. Skip the grocery store for cosmetics and head to the drug store or a big box store instead. You’ll get a better selection for a lower price.

6. Pre-ground coffee. Surprisingly, you may get a better deal on coffee beans that you grind yourself in the store than you will with pre-ground coffee. The mark up on pre-ground of coffee can be pretty high, unless it is the store brand. You may do a lot better at a big box store or at a warehouse store.

7. Name-brand spices. Did you know that the same type of spice can appear in different places in the grocery store for different prices? Jarred spices with American brand names cost more than those found in the ethnic section. A better bet is to buy your spices at an ethnic market instead of your local grocery store. You’ll get a better price, an opportunity to buy your spices in bulk, and most likely wind up with fresher spices, too.